Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 3rd Aug 2007 15:42 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y "Last week at OSCON someone set up a whiteboard with the heading 'Tools We Wish We Had'. People added entries (wiki-style); this one in particular caught my eye: 'dtrace for Linux, or something similar'. So what exactly were they asking for? "
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Releasing software under ANY license differs from placing it in the public domain. You surrender ownership when you place your work in the public domain. With the BSD license, you keep the copyright but grant broad permissions to people who don't hold the copyright. I use the BSD license as an example, but the effects are similar across a range of licenses.

BSD might seem as permissive as public domain, but there is an essential difference: a copyright notice indicating who owns the rights. It's hard to build a community if you don't know who the founding members are.

BSD, X, Apache and other projects are successful because they impose at least some terms, however minimal, on distribution. That was the point I was trying to make. They are also successful because the projects have a formal organization with rules regarding membership, who can commit code changes, and mechanisms for resolving disputes. Projects often fail when they neglect to define rules.

DTrace and Linux follow different rules. I don't care how many developers tell me not to worry about how those rules may or may not conflict. It's not a technical issue. Show me a professional legal opinion that CDDL code and GPL code may be combined and distributed by third parties, and I'll stop worrying.

'Open' is not a synonym for 'anarchy'. 'Open' does not mean 'no rules', it means that the rules are published and apply equally to all. I respect the GPL and CDDL, among other licenses. I don't speak for Linux or Sun, nor am I a lawyer, so my identity doesn't matter. But I have a question for the 'just do it' crowd:

Which license do you want me to violate? Either, or both?

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